iTunes Connect to provide infrastructure for app developers to do tech support
Users contacting developers in the App Store is currently an issue. As it stands, it relies on developers maintaining an up-to-date website to provide their contact details, and requires the user leaving the App Store to access it. For users, it's so much easier to enter a review than it is to find a support email address and get in touch. Obviously that is problematic, since a developer has no way to respond to a review, meaning the user is unlikely to get their issue resolved. Also, some users might have opted for a private communication given the choice.
I would like to suggest that the iTunes store take over handling tech support, providing a standard mechanism for users to get in touch with developers and track their communication.
On each app's page, near the "Leave a review" bit, would be another button, "Contact Support". Click that, and you get a text box to type your message. That's the user's way in to the system.
Meanwhile, on iTunes Connect, there's another section, "Tech support threads". This shows all messages sent by users, arranged by thread. (As well as messages appearing there, they're emailed to the developer as a reminder.) The developer can, from that page, leave a reply to any message. He can also mark threads as "Closed".
When the developer replies to the message, it gets sent on to the user's email address. The developer doesn't see that email address. If the user replies to that response email, the system is smart enough to attach it to the correct thread in iTunes Connect.
Finally: the app developer will have a button next to every review a user leaves on the store, "Offer to open a support incident". If a user has left a bad review complaining about a bug or crash, the developer can press that button and offer to work with the user to solve the problem. The button can only be clicked once per review, so if the user ignores the offer they won't be able to be spammed.
Reports posted here will not necessarily be seen by Apple.
All problems should be submitted at bugreport.apple.com before they are posted here.
Please only post information for Radars that you have filed yourself, and please do
not include Apple confidential information in your posts. Thank you!